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          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  Triumph Spitfire

Triumph Spitfire 1962
EngineIn-line four-cylinder
Crankshaftbeared triple
Displacement, (bore * stroke)
Compression ratio9 : 1
Engine controlOHV, chain
Engine control2 SU carburettors
Drive trainFront engine, rear drive
TransmissionFour-speed, 1th unsynchronized (up to 1970), overdrive (option since 1963)
Front suspensionDouble wishbone, coil springs
Rear suspensionSwing axle, transverse leaf spring, longitudinal struts
Brakes f/rDiscs/drums
Wheels145 SR 13 up to 175/70 R 13
Rim width3,5" up to 5,5"
Wheelbase2.110 mm
Turning circleApprox. 8.000 mm
Length3.685-3.785 mm
Width1.450-1.490 mm
Height1.205 mm
Tank capacity33 litres
Kerb weight735 - 840 kg + driver
Top speed
Purchase priceFrom 8,790 DM
Years of manufacture1962 - 1980

Actually the car could still be happy, to have been named only Spitfire because originally it was supposed to be called 'bomb'. It arised as a design of Giovanni Michelotti on the shortened chassis of the Triumph Herald with its slightly tuned engine. In 1980 its production should end after five generations with 314,000 vehicles produced.

The Spitfire celebrated great success at the beginning, probably due to rear independent suspension, crank windows and adjustable steering wheel, not at all standard at British roadsters. There were major differences between the design of the Mk1 and Mk4 that is not insignificantly affected by American safety regulations. This also applied the interior. The models delivered to USA were affected much more, due to lack of performance.

Therefore then the increase in displacement to 1.5 litres. Unfortunately one had not replaced the swing axle, but lowered as usual, so that its negative camber something better show to advantage. Its behaviour in bumpy curves has already been chalked the VW Beetle and that was after all not a roadster. Whether the spoiled customers or the inferior quality of workmanship has ruined the reputation of the Spitfire, will probably never be fully clarified. 09/14

Mk 11962 - 65
Mk 21965 - 67
Mk 31967 - 70
Mk 41970 - 74
15001974 - 80

Rear axle

British engineers should get an extra prize for creative designs of the rear axle. As with the lonesome Jaguar-axle the drive shafts get even at the Spitfire wheel control tasks, which they load additionally. They replace the lower wishbones basically. Above, the wheels are held by the transverse leaf spring.
And because to the drive shafts next to the length compensation was also economised the wheel-sided joint, a dual-joint swing axle is formed. With the disadvantage that the wheels set on positive camber when the road ahead of the curve, for example, has bumps. This can turn out to a dangerous tendency to tilt in the curve.
Now there is a good and a bad implication. First the good: Because we are dealing here with a roadster, the spring travel is less than, say, at a family car. In addition, one can also give it a little more negative camber in the normal position already. This reduces the probability of very much positive camber e.g. in curves.
And the bad news: The development of the Spitfire has probably yet taken place at the time of cross-ply tyres. The better fit to the swing axle, because their tracking was not as pronounced. The more exact namely today's radial tyres, especially the wide, keep their track, the slower will reduce the positive camber. This means, the Spitfire with diagonal or narrow tyres has a greater chance of negative camber in the curve.               Top of page               Index
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